Take Advantage of Your Sleeping Competitors: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a marathon, a constant battle to get to and maintain good position. Your competitors are at your side, behind you, and sometimes ahead of you. So you have to be aware of how they are performing and take advantage of where they are failing.
Many times competitors give up or go out of business, but the resources they built are still there – even if they got those links 2 years ago. At one point they attempted to rank for the keywords that you are targeting. Because they gave up your competitors may now be listed on page 6 through 10 in the search results. Now your competitors most likely had inbound links to their content which are now dead aka have a 404 error, so that link or resource needs to be fixed and updated which you can take advantage of. This is beneficial to the websites linking to that content both from a search engine and user perspective. No site wants to link to a dead page, search engines do not like 404 error pages and of course users will leave sites that have page errors and missing content.
Your SEO competitors who are optimizing on a day to day basis are not going to allow themselves to have 404 errors on their pages that have inbound links without redirecting them to maintain that link juice. But you still want to research all your competitors from the largest to smallest and take advantage of their 404 error pages.
After you find your competitor’s 404 error pages you now want to see who is linking to those pages. Once you’ve researched and identified which sites are linking to your competitor’s 404 error pages, you can now approach the author or webmaster of those sites to get your links in that position which will then give your pages the link juice your competitor once had. Let them know there is a new sheriff in town and that your content is updated and fresh. You may have to rebuild the content the competitor had if you don’t have similar content on your site. You can also use this approach with outdated content also, so if your competitor has old content that is being linked to you can go after that link position if your stats and content is updated to the current year. This is great for content that contains statistics and trends related to your industry. So being relevant and current can be a good resource for building links.